City Oilers on track for fifth title

  • KIU Titans 72-76 City Oilers | Oilers lead series 2-0
Tsaubah Stone
Landry Ndikumana attempts to block Sam Agutu’s shot during Game 2 at Lugogo.

City Oilers are in pole position to win their fifth National Basketball League title in as many years after defeating KIU Titans on Sunday.

Oilers erased a 14-point first quarter deficit to beat Titans 76-72 in the second game of the best-of-seven series at Lugogo Indoor Stadium.

Trailing by a game and looking to knot up the series, KIU had a near-perfect start running to a 24-10 first quarter with Sudi Ulanga and Denis Balungi hitting from deep.

City Oilers returned for the second quarter with vigour. Jimmy Enabu came out running and on the second possession he attacked the paint, drew all the defenders and kicked-out to Tony Drileba who swished in transition from three-point range.

Playing a man-to-man pressure defense, Oilers forced Titans into back-to-back turnovers (by Francis Kumpanyi and Balungu) with Enabu and Joseph Chuma finishing at rim on breaks as the defending champions went on a 9-0 run to start the second quarter.

“They had a lot of energy, it was up us to match their energy and we adjusted in the second quarter,” Oilers skipper Jimmy Enabu explained to Kawowo Sports.

Oilers eventually won the second quarter 16-6 to put the game back on track as they trailed by just 30-26 heading into the locker rooms for the halftime break.

With experience and composure Oilers chipped away in the third quarter and edged ahead (38-36) on James Okello’s lay-up with just over seven minutes to play and it was KIU’s turn to play catch up.

Sudi Ulanga temporarily put Titans back in the lead (52-51) with a big 3-pointer after shaking off Landry Ndikumana but Okello answered right back with a normal to restore Oilers lead before closing out the frame up 55-54.

Collin Kasujja put KIU in the lead with the first basket of the fourth quarter but Landry Ndikumana took charge scoring 6 points to keep the champions in the lead.

Turning Point

With just over 3 minutes to play and City Oilers leading 68-63, Ethienne Kazungu picked up his fifth foul to send Enabu to the line and the guard hit both throws extending the lead to 7 points.

KIU cut the deficit to a single point (73-72) with a 9-3 run but Okello’s lay-up put the lead to 3 with 17 seconds to play.

On in-bounding, Chris Omanye drove right into traffic and turned over the ball to Stephen Omony. Omanye then fouled Omony and the forward then scored the first of the two throws.

Top Performers

KIU Titans shooting guard Sudi Ulanga led all scorers with 24 points and picked 8 rebounds while City Oilers’ forward Landry Ndikumana scored 21 points to go with 12 rebounds.

James Okello scored 18 points and picked 9 rebounds. Chris Omonye scored 16 points for KIU while Jimmy Enabu scored 13 points and handed out 6 assists.

Stephen Omony scored 12 points and picked 5 rebounds.

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